Button Button Up! is one of those platformer games that can be described as being just ‘fine’. It’s not going to compete with some of the more accomplished games on the Switch like Celeste or Super Mario Maker 2, but nor should it be completely glossed over. It’s a perfectly serviceable platformer with cute visuals and fun...
AP as Larry
Once upon a time, traditional JRPGs were ten a penny. Even a few generations ago we were inundated with riffs on that very familiar formula, from Shadow Hearts to Shin Megami Tensei and beyond. Today, that recipe has evolved in all manner of directions leaving those more classic JRPGs as more curio than common. In both gameplay and...
By the numbers
Early this year, when the three Mercenaries Saga games were brought together in the Chronicles collection on Switch, it offered impressive value for money if you were hungry for some Final Fantasy Tactics/Tactics Ogre-esque gameplay – although there were already other options. An absolute deluge of software in the intervening...
Lynx to the past
Charm goes an awful long way in gaming, partly because it's often in such short supply. Many a mechanically sound shooter or platformer has fallen at the final hurdle by being hard to warm to. Shelter Generations doesn't suffer from such a problem. It's absolutely lovely to behold, with charm practically oozing out of every pore (or...
Everybody wants to rule the world
While wartime strategy games are one of the evergreen genres of both board and PC gaming, they’re much less of a presence on console; outside of steadfast staples like the Romance of the Three Kingdoms series, historical takes on the turn-based formula are particularly scarce. CIRCLE’s Conqueror series brought...
Three games, one package
Mercenaries Saga Chronicles is a bundle of three previously released titles, all launching on Switch for the very first time. The first, Mercenaries Saga: Will Of The White Lions, was a mobile title originally, making this the first time it has ever appeared on a dedicated gaming platform. Rounding up the collection are...
The Nintendo Switch has enjoyed one of the most exceptional launch years for any console, going from strength to strength with its software and building up plenty of hype. Even so, it’s inevitable that not every game on the eShop is going to turn out great, and Koi DX is a perfect example of this. What we have here is essentially a...
A little big adventure
Of all the moves Nintendo has made over the last few years, from the baffling but brilliant to just plain baffling, an announcement regarding a new Nintendo Direct has become arguably as anticipated as a showing at Gamescom or E3. While expos are opportunities for players to get their hands on the games themselves, Nintendo...
An abundance of Boing-Boings
Originally developed for iOS and Android devices, Dark Witch Music Episode: Rudymical is a spin-off from The Legend of Dark Witch series that was playable on Nintendo 3DS. In a complete detour from the two previous titles – The Legend of Dark Witch and The Legend of Dark Witch - Episode 2: The Price of Desire ??
eShop veterans CIRCLE Entertainment have kicked off the Switch era with a bang, starting with the excellent rhythm game VOEZ and continuing with the colourful overhead action of Kamiko. Developed by Japanese indie team Skipmore — responsible for Fairune and its sequel on the 3DS eShop — Kamiko sports a gorgeous pixel-art aesthetic,...
Go go go
Tanukii Studios' overlooked DSiWare gem, Go! Go! Kokopolo, came at the tail end of the DSi's time on the market, and as a result very few people played the unique action game. While a simple re-release on 3DS would have been acceptable, Tanukii Studios instead crafted a full sequel in Go! Go! Kokopolo 3D. The result is a jam-packed game...
Fun for hire
The 3DS eShop is no stranger to strategy RPGs; aside from retail heavy hitters like Fire Emblem: Awakening and Fates and Stella Glow, it's also been blessed with smaller but still eminently enjoyable experiences like Ambition of the Slimes, and the surprisingly solid Mercenaries Saga 2. CIRCLE Entertainment was responsible for
This is a fair 'un
Fairune was a fun - if not particularly ground-breaking - little game that came out of nowhere and charmed us with its simplistic yet addictive gameplay, mixing Ys-like bump combat with a Zelda-esque overworld filled with secrets. We thought the game's story felt pretty complete, so we were quite surprised that a sequel popped up,...
Wii U eShop
Not the sort of pumpkin you'd expect
Mr. Pumpkin Adventure, developed by small indie developer Cotton Game and published by CIRCLE Entertainment, is described as a point and click puzzle title about a pumpkin that has lost its memory. Previously released on computer and mobile platforms, the intriguingly bizarre title has now graced the Wii U eShop...
One of our favourite trends in the eShop has been seeing titles that turn tried-and-true gaming experiences on their heads by putting the player in a new perspective. From Weapon Shop de Omasse's comedic take on the day-to-day drudgery of an RPG smithy to The Legend of Kusakari turning Zelda's grass-cutting mechanic into a laser-focused...
Red gives way to blue
As game generations pass, different genres become more popular. From the space shooters of the arcade era to the mascot-driven platformers of the 1990s to the military first-person shooters in recent years, there's always a genre ripe for exploiting. With the explosion of mobile games has come an increase in endless runner...
Average Labyrinth Story
Last year's Adventure Bar Story put a new twist on the RPG experience, breaking it down into a tasty combination of two addicting elements: battling monsters, and cooking up a storm. Now publisher CIRCLE's back with Adventure Labyrinth Story, a spin-off of that title which focuses on putting a different facet of RPGs front...
Without a plot, purpose, or any real explanation for what exactly is going on, Puzzle Labyrinth on 3DS lives up to its title by unceremoniously dumping the player into a complex maze filled with monsters, traps and strange riddles. Your only hope of escape lies squarely in your ability to complete each puzzle and unlock a...
An inconvenient truth
When I was a child, I once told my mother that I wanted to work at a gas station when I grew up. I don't know why this was my aspiration at the time, and I don't remember my mother's response, but I never did live up to that goal. I went on to do other things: I went to college, worked a few different retail and customer...
Too Burnt To Be Good
Remember when random encounters, grinding for money and to level up characters was a thing in RPGs? ASH sure does. ASH starts with some rather vague storytelling. The game drops players into the Empire of Aghaus with control over two characters, Nicholas and Damien. It's hinted that Nicholas is a former member of Aghaus'...
New Witch, new Hero, same old game
Of all the sequels to suddenly burst onto the 3DS eShop, Witch & Hero 2 is undoubtedly one of the least-expected. Arriving three years after the underwhelming original, this has surely provided ample time and a great opportunity to improve on the limited gameplay, dull visuals and annoying repetition that so...
Defending with towers once more
The 3DS eShop, as well as DSiWare before it, has had its fair share of tower defence titles. After all, it's a relatively simple kind of game to create. Toy Defence is the latest release in the sub-genre, and as you'd expect it's quite similar to the games it's taking after. As you might glean from the title and...
Sail through this story
You receive an anonymous invitation to board a luxury cruise ship… Do you heartily say yes? Do you politely say no? Or do you think to yourself: "Hang on a minute, isn't this like the start of a horror movie?" before running as fast as you can in the opposite direction? Well, our lead character from CIRCLE Entertainment's...
Episodic gaming isn't a new or very interesting concept anymore. The idea of partitioning a game's release into episodes for the sake of providing better content at the sacrifice of instant gratification is good in theory, but that's just a theory. In practice, this only works when a developer stays true to its promise of...
A novel experience
The visual novel is without a doubt the most niche game genre in the West. While some visual novels that combine more traditional game elements have found success — Ace Attorney and Zero Escape come to mind — the vast majority of visual novels are not considered for western audiences. CIRCLE Entertainment's eShop release Petit...